By Matthew Rowland – Seeds Board Member
A few years ago, our family bought an old house. We moved in knowing it needed a bunch of repairs. We didn’t worry too much about it at first, knowing we’d get around to them eventually. One day we started smelling something like a dead skunk outside the bedroom window. After an intense search for whatever foul animal might be decaying in the yard, we discovered that it wasn’t an animal causing the smell, it was us: our septic tank. What is a septic tank? It is where all of the dirty water from the toilets go if you don’t have a city sewer system. It’s supposed to drain out on its own over time, but ours was clogged and broken. GROSS!
A repairman came and found out the whole system needed to be replaced. It would cost $10,000. EVEN MORE GROSS! We just spent a bunch buying the house, so we didn’t have that kind of money at the time. So for the next three months, our family of ten (yes, TEN) shared one small bathroom. The sewage back-up also affected our kitchen, making the sink unusable. One night, I was on my knees, leaning over the bathtub, doing dishes. I was so overwhelmed by the situation, tears started running down my face. I had no idea what to do. I felt like a failure and pleaded with God to help us.
Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV) says, “Do not be anxious, about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
We didn’t have the money, but we knew God did and believed He would come through. So we started to pray as a family. We prayed and prayed and trusted that God would do something amazing. After weeks of praying together, a friend who loves our family heard about our problem. God laid it on his heart to pay for all the repairs! Now our family thinks about this miracle almost every time we use the toilet, which, with ten people, is a lot. We even bought a tiny toilet that we keep in our kitchen to remind us of how God answered our prayers.
No matter what challenges we face, remember that God hears our prayers. He hears our anxieties and our requests. He can do anything and He delights in meeting the needs of His children. The Bible may not say exactly how He’s going to answer our prayers, but it does tell everything we need to know. Our job is not to figure everything out, but to put our trust in the one true God who loves us and who is always with us.
1. Think about some of the difficulties and challenges your family has faced. How has God answered your prayers?
2. What situation is your family facing right now that needs prayer?
Take a moment to pray for the situation you identified above. Also, take time to focus on gratitude as you pray. What are things you can be thankful for even in the midst of this challenge?
Like the small toilet in the story we just read, find an item or keepsake that reminds you of a time when God saved you from a challenge or struggle. Put it somewhere you’ll see often as a reminder of how God answered your prayers.